Initially, Messi settled for a supporting role as his defense-splitting pass from the halfway line to Jordi Alba helped create the opening goal. After goalkeeper Hugo Lloris rashly rushed off his line to confront Alba the ball was squared for Philippe Coutinho to score within two minutes of kickoff.While the opener owed much to Lloris’ poor judgment on his return from an injury sustained during a drunken-driving incident, the second goal was pure artistry. Messi also started the move that saw Suarez and Coutinho combine to set up Ivan Rakitic to volley superbly into the top of the net.When the post twice denied Messi at the start of the second half it looked like he wouldn’t come close to repeating his hat trick in the 4-0 victory over PSV Eindhoven in the group opener.But Messi, who scored in the 2011 final win over Manchester United, was afforded more space in the second half.After Tottenham striker Harry Kane pulled one back in the 52nd minute, Messi started and completed the move four minutes later that restored Barcelona’s two-goal lead.ADVERTISEMENT “It wasn’t this plan to play this game on Wembley,” Pochettino said. “What can we do? Nothing. The grass needs to grow.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Lawyers: Ronaldo accuser suffers from post-traumatic stress But the victory — after a three-game winless domestic run — was built on much more than Messi’s virtuoso performance.Selflessness isn’t a trait often attached to Luis Suarez, but it was the former Liverpool striker’s clever dummies that set up both goals from Messi as he allowed the ball to drift past him into the path of the Argentine forward.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissThe five-time world player of the year could even afford to hit the post twice before scoring in the second half as the five-time European champions made it two wins out of two in Group B.“Everything he does is so unpredictable,” Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho said. “I’m thrilled for him that he scored twice.” Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title MOST READ By the time Jordi Alba virtually cut the ball back from the byline, Messi had darted into the box and both Coutinho and Suarez left it for the five-time world player of the year to finish.The prospect of a Tottenham comeback flickered again when Erik Lamela netted with a deflected strike in the 66th“We had a few problems,” Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said. “But we solved them.”Or Messi did. As Suarez let the ball go past him, the unmarked Messi tapped into an open net in the 90th to put the score beyond the reach of a Tottenham side which has never lifted the European Cup.“What we had to do was take risks,” Pochettino said. “When you play against Barcelona you can have different players and different tactics but the result will be the same.”Tottenham’s task was made even harder with three core players out injured: Defender Jan Vertonghen, midfielder Dele Alli and playmaker Christian Eriksen, who all featured 11 months ago in a victory over European champion Real Madrid at Wembley.After losing its group opener to Inter Milan, Tottenham is now on zero points along with PSV Eindhoven, which lost 2-1 to the Italian side on Wednesday.PITCH PROBLEMSThe quality of the field in north London didn’t match the spectacle in a stadium where this game wasn’t even due to be played. With the rebuilding of White Hart Lane overrunning, Wembley is still Tottenham’s temporary home.It’s not just the additional burden from unexpected Tottenham games accounting for the brown, dead grass across the center. It is less than two weeks since a boxing ring was constructed for the Anthony Joshua-Alexander Povetkin world heavyweight title fight. Barcelona forward Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring his side’s third goal during the Champions League Group B soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Barcelona at Wembley Stadium in London, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)LONDON — Back at the scene of his 2011 Champions League final triumph, Lionel Messi delivered another display of artistry at Wembley Stadium.Messi’s two goals helped Barcelona fight off Tottenham’s second-half resurgence and secured a 4-2 win for the visitors on Wednesday.ADVERTISEMENT Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award LATEST STORIES Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments
Attempts to ascertain the status of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) pension fund, which reports indicate is in a deficit, have hit a proverbial roadblock as the Minister responsible for the sector is unaware of its status.When contacted on Monday about the status of the fund, Agriculture Minister Noel Holder said he was unable to say whether the fund was in a deficit or healthy.According to the Minister, who is overseas, he would not be able to provide information on Government’s plan to secure financial benefits for pensioners as he was not “up to date” on the situation. He referred Guyana Times to acting GuySuCo Chief Executive Officer Paul Bhim, noting that he should provide an update on the situation before it is escalated to him. According to Holder, however, he would seek clarification from GuySuCo himself on the matter. Efforts to contact Bhim proved futile.In the past, there has been confusion over who has responsibility for GuySuCo – Minister Holder or Finance Minister Winston Jordan. The Special Purpose Unit (SPU) is an arm of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), itself an arm of the Finance Ministry. The SPU has been leading the divestment of GuySuCo. Jordan has since affirmed that the Finance Ministry was overseeing the “rump” GuySuCo.Acting GuySuCo CEOPaul BhimOver the weekend, eligible pensioners have questioned whether they would be treated like the bauxite workers in Region 10. A senior manager, who is part of the fund, told this publication that in 2002, the then Government had signed an agreement with the two large bauxite unions, providing six weeks’ severance pay for every year of service, with a cap of 104 weeks.Additionally, the Government committed to pay the pension plan deficit and bring up to date outstanding payments for NIS and PAYE. The Manager said that almost $3 billion was paid out by Government to fulfil these obligations.This newspaper was also told that, separate from the payout, the Bauxite Industry Pension Plan (BIPP) was wound up and the full benefits were paid to all members of the bauxite industry pension plan.This is a major concern for another beneficiary of the GuySuCo pension plan called STEPS (Sugar Trading Enterprise Pension Scheme), which is the largest pension plan in the country. Its officials have said there seemed to be no focus on protecting the workers’ benefits and ensuring fair treatment of sugar workers.Just over 5400 sugar workers were dismissed as Government closed four sugar estates and vested their assets into NICIL since the end of 2017.There is major fear that Government would short-change the workers, a former employee told Guyana Times on Saturday.“Instead of the workers being paid both their contribution and that of GuySuCo, workers are concerned that they may end up with far less than the same treatment enjoyed by the bauxite industry,” a former senior staffer stated.The STEPS Fund has a history of negative figures, but several persons have opined that with the closure of several estates and the downsizing of the industry, there will be an influx of persons into the pension system.Reports are that the Employees Retirement Benefits are in negative territory by $1.1 billion, as opposed to $2.4 billion in 2014, according to the 2015 financial statements produced by GuySuCo. And according to well-placed sources, the state of the fund has not improved.A former employee of the Corporation had told this newspaper that Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) pulling out from the fund has added pressure on it.The ex-employee had expressed the view that Government had to be aware of the dilemma. He said this on the basis that there was no likelihood that foreign investors would have joined the fund, as the Financial Act currently prohibits certain levels of offshore investment.
“Things have not been going our way but I still believe that we can get things together. We only need that win to boost our confidence and that is what we want to do with the Nairobi Stima match,” stand-in coach Tom Juma told Capital Sport.However, AFC Leopards who won the Shield in 2013 will find a potential banana skin in Nairobi Stima who are flying high in the National Super League, currently placed second on 35 points, same as leaders Vihiga United but with an inferior goal difference.Juma concedes it will not be a walk in the park against the second tier side, but holds solace in the fact that his boys are hungry for a win especially to ease pressure off their backs.“Nairobi Stima is a good team and I have watched them play. We should not take that match for granted and I have told the players as well that we cannot afford to relax. They have players with Premier League experience and it will not be easy,” Juma added.AFC Leopards’ midfielder Whyvonne Isuza vies for the ball with Nzoia Sugar’s Victor Omondi in a Kenyan Premier League match on April 1, 2017 at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluAFC Leopards progressed to the second round courtesy of a 15-1 hiding they gave Siaya based side Dero FC in the first round, but Juma will not be dwelling much on that, instead choosing to put his concentration on switching off Stima.“For us, we don’t look at the opponent. We are taking a match at a time and giving it the seriousness it deserves. We can’t even talk of winning the title despite the fact it has been almost four years without any. It is a step at a time,” Juma noted.Stima are on a run of 14 unbeaten matches since their 2-0 loss to Ushuru FC on March 26. From the 14 games, they have picked 10 wins and four draws, conceding only two goals in the process.The side led by former Kenyan international Ibrahim Shikanda boasts of an experienced side. Ivan Anguyo, Joseph Shikokoti, Evans Maliachi, Cain Okeyo and Victor Omune, a former AFC Leopards man, are among the ex-KPL faces in the squad.Heading into the Mumias fixture, Ingwe have been dealt a major blow with four first team players missing with injury.Defender Marcus Abwao, a former Nairobi Stima player, Salim Abdallah as well as midfielders Allan Katterega and Whyvonne Isuza have all been out nursing injuries and will not be fit enough to walk into the pitch on Saturday.Juma, who is warming the seat for the imminent arrival of Robert Matano next week, least worried that the absence of the four will lean them off favor for the tie.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000AFC Leopards fans wondering what went wrong after seeing their team thrashed 3-0 at home by bitter rivals Gor Mahia in Sunday’s Mashemeji Derby at Nyayo Nayo National Stadium on 7th May, 2017.PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaNAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 6- They might have taken their GOtv Shield second round home tie against Nairobi Stima to their ‘traditional home ground’ in Mumias for a touch of good luck just to get their mojo back, but AFC Leopards desperately need a win.Ingwe have not won over the last eight Kenyan Premier League matches and find themselves dropping down the pecking order but in the GOtv Shield they have a perfect chance of redeeming themselves.